I am an avid collector of notebooks, for me there’s no such thing as too many.
So, I was delighted when I was offered the opportunity to review this notebook as I don’t have any other leather bound notebooks in use, the other notebook in the picture is one I collected but it is, at best guess, somewhere around one hundred years old, so it’s retired. It’s in the picture because the Fortessa notebook reminded me of it.
Forrtessa have put a lot of care and attention into this notebook and it shows. The build quality is excellent, the leather cover is evenly dyed in a wonderful chocolate espresso brown and this compliments the gold blocking very nicely.
The cover is well bonded to the notebook and extends past the its edges by approximately 2mm. The actual notebook is A5 and consists of 144 sheets of approximately 80gsm paper which is smooth and strongly lined, the lines are approximately 6.5mm apart.
I did a few tests to find out what the notebook is like and because I use fountain pens and wanted to see how it coped with ink as oppose to rollerball or pencil.
I should say that I’ve always thought the ‘does the ink soak through’ test is a bit unfair because each combination of pen and ink behaves differently on different papers. So, for this test, I decided to try out a few pen and ink combinations in the hope that this would give me the best combination for everyday use. As you can see from the pictures below whilst the writing is visible to a small extent (see right side of the image) it is not sufficient to stop you using both sides of the same page, which is a lot more than can be said for some brands.
(For anyone interested the best behaved of the inks I tried on this paper were Montblanc Corn Poppy Red and Diamine Bilberry.)
Overall the design of the cover and the notebook reminded of the something you would see in an old black and white movie, it has a wonderful sense of nostalgia about it; and for anybody this is a nice notebook to own and whilst it’s big enough to take notes in and sketch out ideas it’s still the right size to drop in a bag.
So, in conclusion, is this notebook worth your pennies?
In short, yes, it’s a very good quality notebook and it is pitched at a sensible price when you compare it to rival products, both leather bound and non-leather bound.
What would I change?
I’d make it refillable. It seems a shame that once it’s done it’s done; I like it and I want to carry it for years and good leather ages well so when the time comes I’ve already worked out how to make this refillable.
The only other thing I would change is the word ‘BEGINS’; as a matter of personal preference I would have chosen to use all the same style of lettering on the cover, it just looks odd and not in keeping with the style of the notebook.
Finally, the simple question here is ‘would I buy another?’, because this time it’s going to be my nickel and the answer is yes I would.
Disclaimer: This notebook was provided, via Amazon, at no cost on the understanding that I would spend some time living with the notebook and provide a fair and unbiased review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailer or manufacturer in any way.